The first returns on fan voting for the 2019 NBA All-Star Game were announced on Thursday, and most of the results weren’t too surprising.
Giannis Antetokounmpo, Kawhi Leonard, and Joel Embiid lead the frontcourt voting in the Eastern Conference, while Kyrie Irving is the top vote-getter among Eastern guards. In the West, LeBron James and Stephen Curry – last year’s All-Star captains – have received the most early votes.
However, several of the other names near the top of those lists may have inspired a double-take. Rookie of the Year frontrunner Luka Doncic has the second-most votes among Western frontcourt players, ahead of Kevin Durant, Anthony Davis, and Paul George, among others. In the backcourt, Derrick Rose ranks No. 2 in fan voting, ahead of James Harden, Russell Westbrook, Damian Lillard, and others.
In the East, fans apparently want to see Dwyane Wade in the All-Star Game once more before he retires — he ranks second in votes among guards, ahead of Kemba Walker, Ben Simmons, Victor Oladipo, and others.
All-Star voting will remain open for two and a half more weeks, so the current order can – and almost certainly will – change. Plus, fan votes only make up 50% of the consideration for the All-Star Game’s starting lineup, with players (25%) and media (25%) also receiving a portion of the vote. So the early results don’t mean that we’ll see Doncic, Rose, and Wade starting in Charlotte next month.
Still, given the popularity of Doncic, Rose, and Wade early in the process, there’s a discussion to be had here.
Has Doncic shown enough in his 36 NBA games to earn an All-Star spot? Does it make sense to reward Rose for his bounce-back season or Wade on his farewell tour? Or would you rather just see the best first-half players in the starting lineups? And, if that’s the case, which five Eastern and five Western players do you believe deserve those spots?
Head to the comment section below to weigh in with your thoughts on this season’s All-Star lineups.